Calista, 9 months old, January 2009
Some days are just like this (and having your picture taken doesn't make life better).

My advice to parents who ask about how to survive difficult, perplexing, annoying or terrible times with their young children has been that they need to remind themselves that it’s “just a phase”. With young children, so much of what they go through and so much of what they put us through is “just a phase”.

And today is one of those days when I have to remind myself that it’s “just a phase”.

Today, Calista is just not happy unless I’m holding her. All alternatives are too sad.

At this very moment she’s happy — sitting on my lap and emptying my desk drawer item by item, dropping things onto the floor (and the poor dog who has just retreated to safer shelter).

Usually Calista will play around the house, exploring the girls’ toys and visiting me every now and again. Today all she wants is to be held. So I hold her. And while I attempt chores one-handedly and look at the things that I won’t even attempt, I repeat to myself — it’s just a phase.